employer subtracting hours: legal?

This summer, I started a part-time job shooting productions for a community access TV station that is a division of the local library.

The library currently has a policy that employees MUST take at least a half hour break for every 6 hours worked.

Since we don't control the productions we shoot, it is often impossible to take a break, so our department ignores this policy.

Recently, the payroll staff has started adjusting our timecards to reflect a break wherever policy dictates, even though we didn't take it.

Essentially, they are subtracting hours we worked, without notification.

Is this legal? It doesn't seem likely that federal law would allow employers to just not pay employees to satisfy some bullshit Office Space policy.

The managers are dragging their feet on the topic, as they don't want to draw attention to their worthless, soulless selves.

Anybody have a reference I can use to kick the managers into action?

This is in Monroe County, IN, if it matters.

-r

Hmmm.

Well, the real problem is them making you work through your breaks. They should be forcing you to take them. In fact, if you fight them on this, that's probably what they're going to do.

However, if you're looking for something to throw at them on changing your timecard, try the following from Indiana's statutes:

IC 22-2-2-8
Statement of hours and wages; furnishing employees; posting law
Sec. 8. Every employer subject to the provisions of this chapter or to any rule or order issued under this chapter shall furnish to each employee a statement of the hours worked by the employee and the wages paid to him listing deductions made each pay period, and the employer shall furnish the commissioner upon demand a sworn statement of the same. Such records shall be open to inspection by the commissioner, his deputy, or any authorized agent of the department at any reasonable time. Every employer subject to the provisions of this chapter or to any rule or order issued under this chapter shall keep a copy of them posted in a conspicuous place in the area where employees are employed. The commissioner shall furnish copies of this chapter and the rules and orders to employers without charge.
(Formerly: Acts 1965, c.134, s.8.) As amended by P.L.144-1986, SEC.2.

IC 22-2-2-9
Actions and proceedings; damages; limitation of actions; defenses
Sec. 9. Any employer who violates the provisions of section 4 of this chapter shall be liable to the employee or employees affected in the amount of their unpaid minimum wages and in an equal additional amount as liquidated damages. Action to recover such liability may be maintained within three (3) years after the cause of action therefor arises in the circuit or superior court of the county in which the services out of which the claim arises were performed or in which the defendant resides or transacts business. Such action may be brought by any one (1) or more employees for and on behalf of himself or themselves and all other employees of the same employer who are similarly situated. No employee shall be a party plaintiff to any such action unless he gives his consent in writing to become such a party and such consent is filed in the court in which such action is brought. The court in such action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiffs, allow recovery of a reasonable attorney's fee and costs of the action. No contract or agreement between the employee and the employer nor any acceptance of a lesser wage by the employee shall be a defense to the action.

By falsifying your wage records, they have arguably violated the first section.